Do people only give bad movies the SJW label?

Tools    





Oh sorry I didn't mean to give that impression. My question is whether or not the saying go woke, go broke is true, and if I am asking that in a vague way, I apologize.

But it seems that a lot of people do not like this Hollywood trend and have been complaining about it for a while, so I wonder if there is an audience for it that likes it, where the companies are making their money back, or if not, then why keep doing it if it doesn't work, is what I mean.



Welcome to the human race...
Hollywood's obsession with pushing it's woke/progressive/SJW agenda into mainstream films has poisoned the film industry. Most people simply don't want identity politics rammed into their films, especially when it so often comes at the expense of good storytelling. I know I'm sick of it.


This obsession with egalitarianism is as unhealthy as it is irritating. It's sad that so many intelligent and talented people have spent so much time and energy promoting it.
The problem with invoking "identity politics" as a reactionary buzzword is that it disregards the legitimacy of the concept when it comes to analysing art, to say nothing of how it doesn't start and stop with minority groups. See what I wrote earlier...

Originally Posted by me
Also, for all the talk of "forced agendas", maybe consider the possibility that a prevalence of white male characters over the entire course of cinematic history is in itself a forced agenda and that people who aren't being catered to by that long-standing default are not being whiners for having a problem with that.
It's one thing if you're trying to do a nuanced criticism of how a particular film doesn't handle its identity politics well, but it's another to act like including them in a film in any capacity automatically makes it a bad film since that would extend to far more films than whatever quote-unquote "woke" ones you're probably thinking of.
__________________
Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, I’m thinking about you.



Well it seems that people far as good films that have identity politics in vs. bad ones, it seems that people will give the SJW label blockbuster action and superhero films. Movies like Captain Marvel, Harley Quinn, the new Charlies Angels remake, or the last Star Wars movie, etc. Even the new James Bond movie, looks woke in the trailer somewhat.

But when it comes to drama movies, that have identity politics in such as Moonlight, or Blue is the Warmest Color, they are not given the SJW label. So it seems so far, only action or superhero movies are?



Welcome to the human race...
Eh, that's not uncommon when it comes to more artistic/prestigious films either. I remember people acting like that about Moonlight because they saw it as performative wokeness on the Academy's part to award the film about a gay black man (especially a low-budget indie that was going up against La La Land, an extravagant musical about a straight white couple).

Regarding blockbuster movies, I think it comes down to people thinking that the action and spectacle of blockbusters are all that matters and that attempting to add any kind of politically-charged substance on top of that (especially if it's something they find personally disagreeable) is unnecessary or even harmful to how much fun they have with the movie. That's kind of how the SJW label originated - it was meant to designate people who cared about and fought for social justice but in ways that were unnecessary or even harmful to social justice. That was a definition I could understand and maybe even get behind, but when it just gets applied to anyone who even cares about social justice even the slightest amount...that's the problem and is signified as much by how apparently even just the bare minimum of having a female protagonist is apparently going too far for these people.



Oh okay. That makes sense. I haven't seen the new Harley Quinn movie, but I noticed a lot of people do not like it and are calling it woke for the reason that it has a lot of misandry in it. But maybe that is how the comic books are though? Is Harley Quinn supposed to be a misandrist character originally?



SJWs will always be referred to as keyboard warriors by me.
__________________
Halcyon days are not a thing
Nostalgia is no excuse for stupidity
I don't believe in golden ages
Or presidents that put kids in cages
America awaits on bended knee
Bad Religion



Eh, that's not uncommon when it comes to more artistic/prestigious films either. I remember people acting like that about Moonlight because they saw it as performative wokeness on the Academy's part to award the film about a gay black man (especially a low-budget indie that was going up against La La Land, an extravagant musical about a straight white couple).

Regarding blockbuster movies, I think it comes down to people thinking that the action and spectacle of blockbusters are all that matters and that attempting to add any kind of politically-charged substance on top of that (especially if it's something they find personally disagreeable) is unnecessary or even harmful to how much fun they have with the movie. That's kind of how the SJW label originated - it was meant to designate people who cared about and fought for social justice but in ways that were unnecessary or even harmful to social justice. That was a definition I could understand and maybe even get behind, but when it just gets applied to anyone who even cares about social justice even the slightest amount...that's the problem and is signified as much by how apparently even just the bare minimum of having a female protagonist is apparently going too far for these people.

I have no problem with a "strong female" protagonist or a gay protagonist if it makes sense for the characters and the plot. I love Aliens, Terminator 2 etc. Moonlight is a superb film; one of my favourites from the past few years.


A film starts to veer into SJW territory when it throws in all the other progressive baggage along with its diversity. For example; not just having a female lead, but a physically strong female who don't need no man because she's better and stronger than the men who are all racist, sexist dinosaurs anyway. This is what irritates people.


The progressive worldview splits modern society in groups and views people not as individuals but as members of that group and seeks to further the interests of the "oppressed" groups (LGBT, blacks, Hispanics, women, Muslims etc) and undermine or destroy the oppressive group (straight white Christian men aka "the patriarchy").


This is most notable in blockbusters because the studios (which are all impenetrable citadels of the left) recognise that they have a film which will reach a huge audience and can't resist using it as a platform to push their woke agenda. Kathleen Kennedy springs to mind - she's the patron saint of progressive producers.



Well there is also this video here, where a Hollywood screenwriter talks about the SJW movement in movies:



Now I found what he said interesting, because he says that this movement seemed to start when Donald Trump got elected, because Hollywood is using this forced diversity mentality as a battle against Trump. He says that his career changed because Trump got elected and that Hollywood's views changed as a result. I'm not American so I am not as familiar with this.

So if that screenwriter is right, does this mean that theoretically, once Trump is out of office, that the SJW movement could be go away too, theoretically speaking?



No. Reality does not fall neatly into categories like that. It predates Trump and it will postdate him. He is both a response to it and a potentially amplifying influence of it. Both sides of this affect each other.

People like to think in clean lines because it's easier but the reality is never like that. Which is a piece of insight that can and should be applied to the construction of these questions, too, given how many of them are phrased in reductive/binary terms.
__________________



Oh okay, I just found what he said interesting that Hollywood's mindset on diversity changed when Trump got elected, unless he is just being too black and white about it.



You originally said "this movement seemed to start when Donald Trump got elected." That's different than "changed when Trump got elected."

One of those ideas is simplistic and pretty obviously wrong, the other is nuanced is reasonable. This is exactly the kind of lack of precision in questions that I've been referring to. The terms of the question change from post to post with no warning or seemingly any awareness that it's happened.



Oh okay, sorry, perhaps I used the wrong word. What I meant to say was did Hollywood's mindset on diversity change after Trump was elected, and did this change start the SJW movement?

That's what I meant. I think the reason why I didn't use the word 'changed' before, is that I was thinking about it more, and my thoughts caused me to use a new word, the more I thought about it. But when you say there is no warning, once I use a different word, should I give warnings, when my I do?



Oh okay, sorry, perhaps I used the wrong word. What I meant to say was did Hollywood's mindset on diversity change after Trump was elected, and did this change start the SJW movement?
The problem is not that you used the wrong word, it's that you're trying to ask specific questions about non-specific terms. I'm positive I've pointed this out before, so I'm going to try to explain it one final time:

"The SJW movement" does not have an agreed-upon definition. We even have people right here in this thread talking about all the connotations the term has to various people! Does it mean any attempt to cast minorities? Does it mean reboots where female characters replace male ones, or minorities replace white actors? Does it just mean films or shows that promote said casting? How about films or shows which activists on Twitter end up fighting about? There's no way to tell from your question what you think the term means, and therefore there's no way to tell what you're actually asking.

That's what I meant. I think the reason why I didn't use the word 'changed' before, is that I was thinking about it more, and my thoughts caused me to use a new word, the more I thought about it.
Exactly. You thought about it and realized you could ask a better question. So just do that part first rather than asking the question as it first occurs to you. Case in point: you replied to one of my posts less than three minutes after I posted it, which is very common in these exchanges. It's usually obvious when someone's just flinging questions back rather than making a good faith attempt to answer things themselves first.

But when you say there is no warning, once I use a different word, should I give warnings, when my I do?
Yes. If you genuinely consider the question and try to answer it yourself (which should at least occasionally involve Gooogling around and reading about it a little, by the way), it should happen way less. But if and when it does it's a lot more polite and much less confusing to acknowledge that's what's happening. Otherwise you imply (intentionally or not) that the other person made some kind of mistake the first time, even though they didn't.



Oh okay. It's just I think I have worded it the best way, and it doesn't occur to me until later. So there is no way I could know there is a better way of wording it until later on, if the thought occurs to me.

As for what I meant by SJW, I will try to be more specific. There is a trend in movies, to push for themes, of oppression. Black Panther for example, has themes of black people all over the world being oppressed. Birds of Prey and Charlie's Angles has women being oppressed by men... So by 'SJW' I meant movies trying to have themes of oppression lately. Does that help explain what I mean?



Welcome to the human race...
I have no problem with a "strong female" protagonist or a gay protagonist if it makes sense for the characters and the plot. I love Aliens, Terminator 2 etc. Moonlight is a superb film; one of my favourites from the past few years.
It's always Aliens and Terminator 2.

A film starts to veer into SJW territory when it throws in all the other progressive baggage along with its diversity. For example; not just having a female lead, but a physically strong female who don't need no man because she's better and stronger than the men who are all racist, sexist dinosaurs anyway. This is what irritates people.
This makes sense in superhero movies when the whole point is that the character has superpowers that make her literally stronger than other characters. That's without mentioning the more mundane ways in which women use different combat techniques in order to compensate for a lack of brute strength (like that one where they wrap their legs around an opponent's neck and let gravity do the rest). It's about fighting smarter, not harder. After all, it's not like people complain like this when it's a smaller man fighting a larger man e.g. Bruce Lee fighting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game of Death or Harrison Ford struggling to fight an especially big henchman in an Indiana Jones movie. As for men being racist, sexist dinosaurs...that may not be true of all of them, but it's true of enough that I can find that a plausible bit of world-building in an individual movie, especially if it's in a film like Haywire or Birds of Prey that takes place in a shadowy underworld that's naturally full of bad guys.

The progressive worldview splits modern society in groups and views people not as individuals but as members of that group and seeks to further the interests of the "oppressed" groups (LGBT, blacks, Hispanics, women, Muslims etc) and undermine or destroy the oppressive group (straight white Christian men aka "the patriarchy").
As opposed to a worldview that allows the oppressive group to maintain its power over the oppressed? A progressive worldview is meant to draw attention to the divisions that already existed in society - the reason the term "woke" exists is because it refers to people "waking up" to the fact that these divisions exist. It wasn't the progressives who put up "whites only" signs on drinking fountains, after all.

This is most notable in blockbusters because the studios (which are all impenetrable citadels of the left) recognise that they have a film which will reach a huge audience and can't resist using it as a platform to push their woke agenda. Kathleen Kennedy springs to mind - she's the patron saint of progressive producers.
This assumes that studios and producers make these decisions purely out of leftist altruism, which even I'm not naive enough to believe. The more cynical and probable hypothesis is that they make these decisions in order to create the most profitable films possible and market research indicates that they would be better off attempting to appeal to diverse, progressive-minded audiences than not - and they still merit their fare share of leftist criticism anyway. Just look at all the times that a Disney movie has said they're adding a gay character to one of their movies and it's some supporting character whose only references to their sexuality are so insignificant that they can conveniently be censored in countries that would ban the films for including such material. Even a supposedly pro-feminist work like Captain Marvel got criticised because of how its characters' reverence for the Air Force makes it seem like military propaganda. By this rationale, Kathleen Kennedy isn't that progressive anyway - The Last Jedi had elements of progressiveness like you said, but it spawned enough vocal criticism for being too progressive that she was willing to walk it back in subsequent films like Solo (where a female-coded activist character is murdered) and Rise of Skywalker (which takes Rose, a prominent character in The Last Jedi who is also a woman of colour and also a target of fandom vitriol, and reduces her to a walk-on role), plus it also pulls the "split-second gay reference" cliché I mentioned above.



It's always Aliens and Terminator 2.



This makes sense in superhero movies when the whole point is that the character has superpowers that make her literally stronger than other characters. That's without mentioning the more mundane ways in which women use different combat techniques in order to compensate for a lack of brute strength (like that one where they wrap their legs around an opponent's neck and let gravity do the rest). It's about fighting smarter, not harder. After all, it's not like people complain like this when it's a smaller man fighting a larger man e.g. Bruce Lee fighting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game of Death or Harrison Ford struggling to fight an especially big henchman in an Indiana Jones movie. As for men being racist, sexist dinosaurs...that may not be true of all of them, but it's true of enough that I can find that a plausible bit of world-building in an individual movie, especially if it's in a film like Haywire or Birds of Prey that takes place in a shadowy underworld that's naturally full of bad guys.



As opposed to a worldview that allows the oppressive group to maintain its power over the oppressed? A progressive worldview is meant to draw attention to the divisions that already existed in society - the reason the term "woke" exists is because it refers to people "waking up" to the fact that these divisions exist. It wasn't the progressives who put up "whites only" signs on drinking fountains, after all.



This assumes that studios and producers make these decisions purely out of leftist altruism, which even I'm not naive enough to believe. The more cynical and probable hypothesis is that they make these decisions in order to create the most profitable films possible and market research indicates that they would be better off attempting to appeal to diverse, progressive-minded audiences than not - and they still merit their fare share of leftist criticism anyway. Just look at all the times that a Disney movie has said they're adding a gay character to one of their movies and it's some supporting character whose only references to their sexuality are so insignificant that they can conveniently be censored in countries that would ban the films for including such material. Even a supposedly pro-feminist work like Captain Marvel got criticised because of how its characters' reverence for the Air Force makes it seem like military propaganda. By this rationale, Kathleen Kennedy isn't that progressive anyway - The Last Jedi had elements of progressiveness like you said, but it spawned enough vocal criticism for being too progressive that she was willing to walk it back in subsequent films like Solo (where a female-coded activist character is murdered) and Rise of Skywalker (which takes Rose, a prominent character in The Last Jedi who is also a woman of colour and also a target of fandom vitriol, and reduces her to a walk-on role), plus it also pulls the "split-second gay reference" cliché I mentioned above.

I would reply to each of your points in turn but this is a movie forum and I don't want this thread to degenerate into the two of us sending long political essays back and forth.


I will say this though: the West is a liberal paradise compared to the rest of the world. Slavery still exists, subjugating millions of people. Apostasy is illegal in 18 countries, carrying the death penalty in 12 of them, denying hundreds of millions the right to religious freedom. Homosexual acts are illegal in over 70 countries, punishable by death in a dozen of them, affecting millions of gay people. And let's not even get started on women's rights; female genital mutilation, no right to divorce, inheritance, lack of access to jobs and protection from abuse, forced public segregation, honour killings, child marriages etc etc. These legal and cultural restrictions affect literally billions of women.


This is the true oppression in the world today. And it ain't the white Christian male patriarchy who's responsible for it.


If you truly want to help oppressed elements of humanity then start there.



Right, and the question as actually posed to you is about why progressive activists disproportionately target the least objectionable places and cultures as opposed to the most, which is not addressed by the above.

Technically, it's obviously all worth going after if you believe it's wrong, but the skew is so ridiculously overwhelming that it deserves a little self-reflection and explanation, rather than a glib brush off.



As for men being racist, sexist dinosaurs...that may not be true of all of them, but it's true of enough that I can find that a plausible bit of world-building in an individual movie
I mean, good of you to admit that you're fine with generalizations about massive groups of disparate people, I guess, but I feel like you should see why this is bad without it being pointed out. It's certainly at odds with mainstream progressive opinion even a decade or two ago.

I suspect that the distinction is that it's okay to generalize about some groups but not others, right? Presumably based on where you perceive them to fall on some oppression hierarchy. Which plays right into what the other person is saying here about washing away the distinctions between individuals, which seems like a bizarre way to champion diversity.

As opposed to a worldview that allows the oppressive group to maintain its power over the oppressed?
Geez, this is some leap. Where have you demonstrated (or even attempted to argue) that reducing people to groups alleviates oppression? Or that practicing individualism perpetuates it? Seems like history is overflowing with counter-examples.

And that's one of the reasons the comic doesn't really address the point, by the way: it's not "hey things could be worse" (that's an obvious straw man). It's "all the institutions and principles you're chipping away at are responsible for almost all of the advances you claim to be for." That doesn't make them beyond reproach, but you'd think it'd prompt a little self-reflection about the relationship there, at minimum.

I suspect what's really going on is just a simple bait-and-switch, though, where someone questions whether one form of social justice is really wise or good, and you come back with some broadside about all oppression, as if it's all of a kind and to question any of it is support the entire status quo. I've called out this rhetorical move before (I did not get a response).



Welcome to the human race...
Right, and the question as actually posed to you is about why progressive activists disproportionately target the least objectionable places and cultures as opposed to the most, which is not addressed by the above.

Technically, it's obviously all worth going after if you believe it's wrong, but the skew is so ridiculously overwhelming that it deserves a little self-reflection and explanation, rather than a glib brush off.
I think it's mainly to do with cleaning up your own backyard before worrying about anyone else's, like how people can volunteer in third-world countries and get criticised for not caring about the impoverished of their home countries first. It's all just a deflection anyway - I was talking about social justice in the context of movies and HollowMan decided he'd rather drop his own glib brush-off by refusing to continue a movie-centric discussion on a movie forum and instead bring up global atrocities in an attempt to get "the West" off the hook.